Married Gold Coast couple Nancy Donaldson and Jarrod Knight help artworks find their forever home with their online shopping site Art Lovers Australia
How did Art Lovers Australia come about?
Jarrod: We’re both artists. Nancy’s an art teacher and I studied at the Queensland College of Art. We know a lot of artists and between us, we’ve been to a hell of a lot of exhibitions. We realised that after an exhibition, the art goes away to a space where it can’t be seen anymore. We love the idea of giving these artworks a longer life.
Nancy: There are all these artists out there who have wonderful works that just aren’t being seen. From a buyer’s perspective, people don’t have time to get to all the exhibitions— we love it and we can only get to one a week— so it’s great to go online and be exposed to thousands of artworks.
What has been the experience of the artists?
Nancy: With my teaching background, I love mentoring people and our artists feel very loved. We don’t just accept anyone on our site. We’re quite curated. Now we have artists who since being featured on our website have been able to transition into their art practice full time because they are able to make an income. It’s good to see people being able to pursue their passions full time.
How about the experience for buyers?
Nancy: We have a lot of clients who have followed us for a long time so when they are renovating or wanting to revamp their space, bring some different energy in, they trust us and come back to the site. A lot of people call me personally or send me their photos and say, ‘hey, I need something for this room,’ and they want to talk it through with someone who has got an eye. People just want to make sure that their space is finished beautifully with original art.
How do you choose what to sell on Art Lovers Australia?
Nancy: We look for beautiful and interesting art, at the moment we have almost 400 artists represented on the site. We want to see that the artist is working consistently and that they’re growing because that’s how their value as an artist is going to continue to grow.
What’s your top advice for picking art for the home?
Nancy: You should always follow your heart. There are pieces in my own home that some of my friends love and other people will come over and say, ‘Do you really like that!?’ I’m confident in my own taste, so I don’t mind. If a person isn’t so confident, I suggest educating yourself by looking through a lot of art. We have a client who collects on a theme. She supports Australian female artists and she likes vibrant colour, so everything in her house can sit together as a collection. I love that.
What is your own collection like?
Jarrod: We have more art than we have wall space.
Nancy: It’s very eclectic. Sometimes we see an artist where they don’t even know how good they are yet. If we can give them encouragement by buying their art so they’ll have some money in their pocket to keep going that’s great. We love supporting young artists.
What do you do in your spare time?
Jarrod: We live in a really beautiful part of the world so we try to keep a balance between being online all the time and just getting out and in the fresh air.
Nancy: We love going for swims, we love going to the movies… anything arty!
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